Make the most of the summer with the National Trust’s brilliantly nostalgic list of 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾. The list is packed full of fun stuff to do in the great outdoors – we reckon for all ages, not just kids! There’s even more reason to tick off as many kiddy adventures right now, because the National Trust is allowing kids to enter for free in August. The offer ends this weekend, so make the most of it while you can! Here are some of the top picks for this weekend…
One of the last surviving country estates in London, this fascinating house provides plenty of space to escape to in the middle of the big city. Indoors, the “Real to Reel” exhibition traces the history of film at Osterley (it was recently on the big screen as Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises) and there’s plenty to do outdoors too. Every Thursday in the summer holidays, there’ll be outdoor activities for kids to tick off their 50 things checklist, while all year round the gardens and parkland are full of trees to climb, bugs to hunt and nature to explore.
Spending just one day on the Purbeck Coast in Dorset might not be enough time to take everything in. England’s only natural World Heritage Site, the striking rock formations and beaches provide plenty of outdoor entertainment. Hunt for fossils along the beach and try a spot of high-tech treasure hunting at Corfe Castle, which is hosting a geocaching taster event.
One of Europe’s most important wetlands, there is an abundance of wildlife inhabiting this lost landscape. Spot rare animals such as hen harriers, water voles and bitterns, plus hundreds of other birds and insects. Every Tuesday in the summer holidays, the team at Wicken Fen will be running pond dipping and bug hunting taster sessions, helping you learn more about what can be found in the natural world that surrounds you.
With 125 acres of parkland in the middle of London, Morden Hall Park is a peaceful oasis to escape to after the capital’s busy summer. Free to visit, there are plenty of activities to get stuck into. Explore miles of pathways, pick up a map and trail for £1 from the shop and try your hand at orienteering – don’t forget your compass – and discover more about the flittering birds and creepy crawlies. For kids, generally the slimier the better!
Let’s go fly a kite
There are few better ways to spend time in the outdoors than the age-old pursuit of flying a kite. Find a good windy spot, possibly on top of a hill, with lots of open space, and test your skills. Some of our top spots include Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire (a really big hill with great views), Stowe in Buckinghamshire (big open grass spaces) or Dunster Castle, Somerset (test your skills from the Keep garden).